Agenda, you mean Itinerary.....
Excellent Question. Yes we have an Itinerary/Agenda, those that know me well, know that I like to plan my rides to the minute.
Sunday july 31, Monday August 1st early arrival folks. Those that want to or will be arriving early will be given some day ride suggestion for some terrific sight seeing and possilbly a little shopping trip into Calgary
Monday August 31, official arrival date, check into the host hotel and check into the Event Registration room where you will receive you swag packages, sign waivers and be greeted by members of the ARCEEMPEE for a photo op.
Monday evening I will lead a cruise tour of main street Banff, cruising up to the Banff Fairmont Hotsprings Hotel, Bow Falls, and the base of the Banff Gondola ride as well as a ride up Mount Norquay to the lookout that overlooks the town of Banff and the Bow River Valley and the CPR Railway. This is an optional tour, depending on the number of folks that want to participate we may split it up into smaller groups so that we don't overwhelm the hotel, the parking area there is quite small, same with the pullout up on Mount Norquay.
Please note that the ride plans on Tuesday or Thursday could change due to weather, Wednesdays rides go rain or shine.
Tuesday, group photo, day ride over Highwood Pass with multiple stops for photo-ops, wildlife viewing and lunch in the Ranching/Oilfield community of Black Diamond, Alberta in the historic Black Diamond Hotel. In the afternoon we will travel into Calgary to visit the local dealer, Calgary Harley Davidson and have an ice cream social in the parking lot. The afternoon ride back to the host hotel will be a staged ride with smaller groups so that the twisty 1A highway can be enjoyed for both riding and viewing please
Tuesday evening will be the traditional T shirt exchange with rules setup by BatDan Mize. I hope to have a laptop computer setup where folks can show their photos from the day on the large screen in the showroom/banquet space. The outdoor lounging area will be connected to this room so that free beer may be consumed, don't go overboard, tomorrow rides will require all your witts about you.
Wednesday. Ride 1. This ride departs the hotel parking lot at 07:30 and heads into Banff Park following the Trans Canada hwy to Lake Louise, there will be a stop in Lake Louise for fuel and to stretch the legs then this ride will continue north on Hwy 93 up thru Banff National Park to Saskatachewan River Crossing, there will be a short break again here to stretch the legs and pitstop. Then the ride will depart and head north and ascend the Sunwapta Pass up to the first Lookout, the group will stop at this lookout for photo ops back down the valley to the south. From this pullout the group will head north into Jasper National Park and exit at the Columbia Icefield Visitors Centre. I hope to have arranged mass parking in the bus parking zone so that the bikes will all be together during the Icefield tour and for those brave enough to attempt the cliff walk tour. The tours are run by the Brewster Tour Company which also runs the Banff Gondola, we will be negotiating a group discount with them in the next few weeks to attend 2 or possilby 3 of the venues that they operate.
The Icefield tour takes approximatelly 1.5 hours from the time you leave the Visitor Center, are bussed up to the Tundra Buggy loading area, ride out onto the glacier in the Tundra Buggy, get out walk around on top of the glacier, have a drink of the purest ice cold water you will ever taste and not fall into a crevasse, then return to the Tundra Buggy loading area and are then bussed back down the mountain to the Visitor Center. Those that want to experience the cliff walk can then take the bus to that venue, a local rider will stay behind to guide these folks back to the host hotel
Those that don't want to experience the glass floor cliffwalk will head back south toward Lake Louise, stopping at seveal photo op points on the right side of the highway including but not limited too, the toe of the Columbia Icefield Glacier, Jasper Park entrance sign, Bow Summit, Peyto Lake, Crowfoot Glacier, Lake Louise (the lake, fuel stop, snack stop, photo ops), Moraine Lake (if time allows) and travel the scenic route 1A back to Banff where wildlife such as Moose, Elk, Mule Deer, Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep and the occasional grizzly and black bear can be spotted.
The 1A parkway joins the Trans Canada just before Banff and there is another pulloff just east of there for photo ops of the Bow River Valley and Tunnel Mountain. After this last stop riders will be given the choice to continue back to the hotel with a guide or cruise into Banff for souvenier shopping and more photo ops with an experienced guide/cat herder to lead them back to the host hotel.
Wednesday Ride 2, Golden Triangle. This ride will depart at 07:45 from the host hotel and head west into Banff National Park. This ride will take you through 3 of Canada's Rocky Mountain National Parks in 1 day. The ride will bypass Banff staying on the TransCanada and will cruise the Banff Parkway 1A west to Lake Louise. This will be the first pitstop/leg stretch. The tour will ride up to Lake Louise for a short hike to the Lake and photo ops in front of the Lake as well as the Chateau Lake Louise. From here the ride will continue west into Yoho National Park and cross the provincial border into British Columbia. Just after starting to descend into the Kicking Horse Pass the group will exit on the ride side to stop at the "Spiral Tunnels" lookout. The tunnels literally spiral inside the mountain on each side of the highway so that the railway can descend the pass at a safe gradient. From this stop the tour will continue west to the floor of Kicking Horse river valley and exit right onto the Takkakaw Falls scenic road. This road will take the group through a winding 2 lane road and a couple of tight switchbacks and steep dropoffs so please keep your witts about you on this part of the ride. You may experience big motorhomes or tour buses backing down or up the middle part of the switchbacks, be patient, the bus drivers are experienced, the motorhome drivers are not. This roads ends at Takkakaw falls, a spectacular high level waterfall that is a perfect photo op. A short hike will take you up to the base of the waterfall and you will be able to feel the mist, refreshing on a hot summer day. This is a dead end so we will go back out the same road we came in on and the views will be just as spectacular, expect there to still be snow up on the high ridges and possibly even a few grizzly bears in the high meadows. After we get back to the Trans Canada Highway we will continue a short distance west to the "Natural Bridge" and "Emerald Lake" exit on the right hand side. We will travel all the way into Emerald Lake parking area and occupy one of the tour bus parking spots. This will be an excellent photo op spot with the color of the water being spectacular. When the cats are rounded up we will exit out on the road we came in on and stop at the Natural Bridge pullout. Again an excellent photo op and small hike here to see where the Kicking Horse river is funneled underneath a natural water cut rock bridge. It will be loud here and it can get a little windy, so hang onto your hat and your camera and don't lean too far over the edge of the secure walking paths.
We will gather up the group and now head west out of Yoho National park following along the Kicking Horse River to our lunch stop in Golden BC. Lunch is planned at a 50's themed local diner. The menu will be negotiated so that we can be in and out as quickly as possible and back on the road s.e. to Radium BC. This will also be a fuel stop, so top up your tanks. Golden to Radium is a two lane road that travels though a broad Rocky Mountain Valley with some beautiful views of peaks on each side of the Valley.
When we reach Radium BC we will turn left and ride up the pass into Kootenay National Park. Passengers have your cameras ready, especially video because will will travel thru a pretty cool natural rock tunnel on our way up the pass. A stop at the Radium Hotsprings pool for photo ops has not been planned as yet, swimming will probably take up too much time. After the top of the pass there are a couple of great lookouts points where the group will stop for photo ops of the long wide valley. The road continues north with several more photo op locations as well as wildlife viewing opportunities along the way. This corridor is known for its grizzly bear habitat and it not unusual to see them lounging along the side of the road eating berries. Toward the end of this road as we again approach the Alberta/BC border there a few other natural areas of interest and the remains of large forest fire that devastated are several years ago but also led to the forest renewal that will be seen. Right before we cross back into Alberta we will climb up another high pass with excellent views of the peaks of several of the mountains, cameras should be clicking away. We will descend the other side back to the Trans Canada hwy and have completed the triangle route at Castle Junction. From this point we will head back toward Banff and back to Canmore for a quick fuel pitstop and then back to the host hotel.
Wednesday evening. This will be our banquet supper evening in the showroom/banquet room. Buffet dinner will start at ?:00. There will be cash bar setup for this evening only. After dinner and desserts the presentations will begin for those bidding to host SW VII. Voting will commence immediately after the last presentation and will be open until just before the raffle/doorprize event begins, Announcements will be made repeatedly to remind all to vote that are eligible. To be eligible to vote, you must be a member of roadglide.org with a forum name. The rest of the evening can be spent gambling in the Casino or discussing the ride that you experienced that day.
Thursday. Rides 1 & 2 will be repeated from Wednesday
Thursday evening will be the raffle/door prize fundraiser for SW VII and will also include the announcement of the location host for Shark Week VII. The beer will again be free for this evening. Goodbyes, and until we meet agains and hopefully some file photo sharing. We are working on a way to have a live satelite link to a couple of our favorite folks that do so much behind the scenes to make sure that we all have a good time. This linkup hopefully will be available by SKYPE or Goto Meeting. Still negoiating.
As the same as previous Shark Weeks there are those that want to see and experience at their own pace and not travel with the herd of cats. Self guided tours will be setup with detailed instructions including a few more places that can be seen and experienced that are just to small to fit in a large group of bikes and groups of people all at once.
Friday. This is the day I dread the most, saying goodbye to good friends and wishing them a safe journey home, wherever that may be. If folks want to stay on a day or two to experience some of the same sights again or travel deeper into British Columbia and experience more of the Rocky mountians the local group here can suggest some excellent roads and sights to see that we just couldn't pack into 3 days.